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Surprising Science

A Primer for World Health Day: What You Need To Know About Aging

What is the Big Idea?

World Health Day is on April 7 and the theme this year is Aging and Health. The World Health Organization provided some key facts about today’s aging population:

  • The number of people today aged 60 and over has doubled since 1980.
  • The number of people aged 80 years will almost quadruple to 395 million between now and 2050.
  • Within the next five years, the number of adults aged 65 and over will outnumber children under the age of 5.
  • By 2050, these older adults will outnumber all children under the age of 14.
  • The majority of older people live in low- or middle-income countries. By, 2050, this number will have increased to 80%.
  • Check out more aging factoids here, at the World Health Organization’s Website.

    What is the Significance?

    The World Health Organization’s call to action is to promote health throughout life in order to achieve good health in old age. Joel Cohen, math biologist and Big Think expert, couldn’t agree more. An uninformed aging population has health and economical consequences.

    “If we educate people well in youth, we can cut down the old age health care costs and disability and we have a more productive labor force,” said Cohen.

    Watch Joel Cohen talk about the world’s aging population:

    What are you doing for yourself to promote good lifelong health? Tell us in the comments section below.

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